Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Feast of the Lamb’

Convocation – Hebrew: Mikra

מיקרה

The Hebrew word mikra comes from the root qara meaning ‘that which is read.’ In the Scriptures, mikra is translated as ‘convocation,’ ‘assembly,’ and ‘a reading.’ This would refer to the public reading of Torah, Prophets and Writings known as the TeNaK (Old Testament). There are 23 occurrences of mikra in the Scriptures.

Elohim gives instructions for a ‘holy assembly:’

“On the first and seventh days, you are to have an assembly set aside for God. On these days no work is to be done, except what each must do to prepare his food; you may do only that” (Exodus 12:16).

“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month [Sukkot] you are to have a holy convocation. You are not to do any kind of ordinary work, and you are to observe a feast to Adonai seven days” (Numbers 29:12).

“They read clearly from the scroll, in the Torah of God, translated it, and enabled them to understand the sense of what was being read” (Nehemiah 8:8).

Another meaning of mikra is ‘rehearsal.’ The definition of ‘rehearsal’ is to ‘practice for a public performance.’ Each of the Feasts of Adonai, found in Leviticus 23, requires a ‘convocation’ or ‘rehearsal:’ Passover, Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. Assembling together for a ‘rehearsal dinner’ is the foundation for the Feasts as Adonai. He gives His people ‘appointed times’ to ‘rehearse’ for a future event that will be brought to fulfillment by Yeshua in the Kingdom.

Yeshua says, “many are called, but few are chosen” when talking about guests invited to the wedding feast (Matthew 22:14). The Greek word for ‘called’ means ‘invited.’ He is saying that many are invited, but few actually make the choice to come. He says that many ‘were not interested’ in coming to the banquet. The Greek word says that they were ‘careless and paid no attention to the invite.’ The Greek word goes deeper to say that they found the invite to the wedding feast ‘rehearsal’ to have no value (Matthew 22:5).

The Greek word gamos is used for ‘banquet’ and refers to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. The people who refused the ‘invite’ missed the Lamb’s wedding; they made a bad choice. Only those friends and family who are special to the bride and groom attend a ‘rehearsal’ meal for a wedding. The rest of the people are the invited guests. Yeshua used the same imagery of a wedding banquet to describe the responses to his Father’s ‘rehearsals’ for His Son’s Wedding Feast.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Rehearsal – mikrah – מיקרה

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ק Kof – Back of the Head means ‘what is past’ or ‘what is behind.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for mikrah: mighty finished work what is behind the highest authority revealed.

©2022 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Revelation Chapter 19 – A Wedding and a War

“After these things, I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd in heaven, shouting, “Halleluyah! The victory, the glory, the power of our God! For his judgments are true and just. He has judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her whoring. He has taken vengeance on her who has the blood of his servants on her hands” (Revelation 19:1-2).

Yochanan hears a huge crowd of people in heaven shouting. The Hebrew word hamon means ‘a sound or roar’ from ‘an abundance of people.’ Throughout the prophets hamon is used of a large army (Daniel 11:10). At this time, Yeshua is preparing his army –– and his Bride. The ‘roar’ from this crowd is Halleluyah! which is Hebrew for “Praise Adonai!” They praise yod-hey-vav-hey for His victory, His glory, His power, and His judgments which are true and just.

“Save us, Adonai our God! Gather us from among the nations, so that we can thank your holy name and glory in praising you. Blessed be Adonai, the God of Isra’el, from eternity past to eternity future. Now let all the people say, “Amen! Halleluyah!” (Psalm 106:47-48).

Nevertheless, you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Isra’el” (Psalm 22:4).

‘Victory’ in Hebrew is teshuah and means ‘deliverance’ and ‘salvation.’ It is from shuah that the word yeshua or ‘salvation’ comes. ‘Salvation’ or yeshua is found 109 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. The crowd in heaven praises Adonai for Yeshua who has delivered them from the bonds of death to life.

‘Glory’ in Hebrew is kavod and means ‘honor’ and ‘dignity.’ The only One who is to receive ‘glory’ is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the yod-hey-vav-hey (Psalm 115:1). Kavod holds the idea of ‘coming down’ as in being ‘weighty.’ When the glory of Adonai comes down, His presence encompasses the multitude praising His Name.

‘Power’ in Hebrew is tokef and means ‘strength’ and ‘energy.’ Through the tokef of Adonai the multitudes proclaim victory through His power.

Adonai judges with true justice. The word for ‘judgment’ is mishpat sometimes translated ‘law.’ When Adonai judges, it will be based on His mishpatim, His Torah. Justice happens when people receive what they deserve. Those who shed the blood of the innocent – over the millennia – receive justice. The redeemed multitude, saturated in the glory, honor, reverence of Adonai, continue to praise Him for the justice rendered on earth.

“And a second time they said, “Halleluyah! Her smoke goes up forever and ever!” The twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, sitting on the throne, and said, “Amen! Halleluyah!” (Revelation 19:3-4).

The 24 elders along with the living beings fall down and worship Adonai. Twenty-four symbolizes the divisions of the Levitical priesthood that King David created to work in his Tabernacle. Each clan from Aaron’s sons worked for a prescribed two-week time period twice per year. Each division had a leader or elder making 24. These elders now have eternal positions in the heavenly sanctuary around the Throne of Adonai.

It is time for the judgment that the four living beings and 24 elders prepared for as they worshiped around the Throne of Adonai. The multitude now joins the living beings, and the 24 elders all shout halleluyah. The Hebrew word has the name yod-hey-vav-hey in it placing the very essence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyey into halleluYah. The Hebrew root of halleluYah is hallel which means ‘to shout aloud with joy.’ HalleluYah – Shout aloud with joy to Yah!

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hallel – הלל

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for hallel: behold the urging foward, urging forward.

Halleluyah – הללויה

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

י Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for halleluyah: behold urging forward, urging forward, the binding finished work revealed.

“A voice went out from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great!” (Revelation 19:5).

The Hebrew word for ‘throne’ is kisseh and means ‘seat of honor,’ and is used specifically for the Throne of Adonai. A ‘voice’ goes out from the Throne. This Hebrew word is kol and is used in Genesis 3:8; the word ‘voice’ is preceded by the alef and the tav, the ‘sign’ of Yeshua being the ‘voice.’ In Revelation, however, the ‘voice’ commands praise for את Eloheinu; the command is given from yod-hey-vav-hey for all His servants, great and small, to praise Yeshua who is Eloheinu – Our God.

The Hebrew word for ‘servant’ is ebed and can be translated as ‘slave.’ Sha’ul referred to himself as a ‘slave’ of Messiah Yeshua meaning that he understood he had been ‘bought with a price’ (1 Peter 1:18-19, Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 6:20). He also understood that his ‘bondage’ was an eternal commitment to ‘serve’ his Savior, Messiah and King Yeshua.

“Then I heard what sounded like the roar of a huge crowd, like the sound of rushing waters, like loud peals of thunder, saying, “Halleluyah! Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, has begun his reign!” (Revelation 19:6).

The huge crowd says halleluYah again because Adonai, the God of heaven’s armies begins His reign. The praise of Yeshua’s huge army sounds like rushing waters and loud thunder. What makes water rush? Wherever water runs down hills and pours over rocks, people stop and listen. Something draws them to the sound whether it is the multiple falls of water at Iguaçu in Brasil, the water pouring over ledges at Niagra or just a simple stream stumbling over rocks in the Russian River in Alaska.

Just recently I learned that powerful negative oxygen ions are generated by crashing water. Invisible and unnoticeable, they’re tossed into the air and we breathe them in and they recharge our human batteries. Immediately, we feel refreshed; the higher the concentration of negative ions, the better it makes us feel.

The Bible compares Yeshua’s voice to the sound of ‘rushing water.’ Whether the rushing water thunders over huge cliffs or trickles in a small stream, the moving of water produces a sense of shalom, quietness, and even power. Stopping and listening to the voice of Yeshua in rushing water changes the inner man and recharges our soul.

“More than the sound of rushing waters or the mighty breakers of the sea, Adonai on high is mighty” (Psalm 93:4).

“There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory” (Ezekiel 43:2).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Water – Mayim or מים

מ Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

ם Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for mayim: mighty finished mighty.

The praise of the armies also sounds like loud peals of thunder. When Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh came to the top of the mountain to meet with the Israelites, there was lightning and thunder, the sound of His voice.

“God thunders wonderfully with his voice, he does great things beyond our understanding” (Job 37:5).

“The voice of Adonai is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, Adonai over rushing waters, the voice of Adonai in power, the voice of Adonai in splendor” (Psalm 29:3-4).

Wedding of the Bride and the Lamb

“Let us rejoice and be glad! Let us give him the glory! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself —fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8).

As the armies of Adonai prepare for war, there is an intermission –– the conclusion of the betrothal ceremony at Yeshua’s Passover seder. He told his disciples that he would not celebrate Passover again until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom (Luke 22:16). The ‘appointed time’ has arrived; the Bridegroom has prepared a place for His Bride, and the Bride has made herself ready.

The Bride is not a given; it is not the whole Body of Messiah. Yeshua will not marry a child or an adolescent, but a mature woman of faith. Like Havah was made from a rib portion of his body, the Bride of Messiah is comprised of a portion of Yeshua’s Body –– the wise virgins who had oil in their lamps. The Bride of Messiah worshiped in Spirit and Truth. The Bride purified her body and soul from everything ‘unclean’ that defiles. She separated herself from a wicked, lawless world and lived blamelessly. The Bride trained herself in righteousnes. Like the Eshet Chayil, the Bride has been faithful, hard working, courageous and maturing in her faith (Proverbs 31:10-30).

“As a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, your God will rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5).

The Bride accepted the culture of her Jewish Bridegroom, loving his brothers and sisters from the Tribes of Isra’el. She kept her Betrothed’s Sabbath because he is Lord of the Sabbath. She celebrated his Father’s Feast days because they were her Beloved’s ‘appointed times.’ She ate the ‘clean’ foods he ate. For her righteous deeds, and obedience to the Word that he represented in the flesh, the Bride is given fine linen, bright and clean to wear. Her garment is not just a robe washed in the blood of the Lamb, it is a garment of sanctification representing her maturity.

“In order to present the Messianic Community to himself as a bride to be proud of, without a spot, wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without defect” (Ephesians 5:27).

The Hebrew word for ‘fine linen’ is sheshee and means ‘white’ or ‘bleached.’  Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant and is known for its pure white color (Exodus 9:31).   The process to create fabric from flax is labor intensive, but when the threads are woven into garments, it is cool and remains fresh in hot weather. 

The Wedding Guests

“The angel said to me, “Write: ‘How blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 19:9).

The Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22 is prophetic for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Many invitations were sent out, but most who received them made excuses for not coming. Some got married; others bought a cow. Many were invited, but few chose to attend. The king became angry and sent his servants to bring everyone they could find on the street corners, the poor, the lame, the good, and the bad. These wedding guests receive great blessing.

Sometimes the Hebrew word for ‘blessing’ or barak is translated ‘happy’ or ‘rejoice.’ The Hebrew word for ‘rejoice’ is gil and means to ‘spin around with emotion.’ Those who have been invited and come to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb are blessed and happy. There is great rejoicing and DANCING!

Then he added, “These are God’s very words.” I fell at his feet to worship him; but he said, “Don’t do that! I’m only a fellow-servant with you and your brothers who have the testimony of Yeshua. Worship God! For the testimony of Yeshua is the Spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:9-10).

Yochanan is overwhelmed with the ‘words of Adonai.’ He falls at the messenger’s feet in worship. The messenger refused the worship and explains to Yochanan that he is a servant of Yeshua just like Yochanan and his brothers. He tells Yochanan to worship the Creator. Then he says that having a testimony of Yeshua is the ‘Spirit of prophecy.’

In Hebrew, the word nevuah is the noun ‘prophecy’ meaning that the prediction given is spoken or written. The word nava is the verb meaning ‘to prophesy under the influence of the divine Spirit.’ Sometimes prophecy is done with song and dancing. The Hebrew word for ‘prophets’ is nevi’im and is the ‘N’ part of TeNaK –– Torah, Nevi’im (prophets) and Ketuvim (writings) –– Old Testament.

In the TeNaK, prophets told the future through divine revelation (2 Peter 1:21). Sometimes the revelation came through a vision, a dream, an angel, inspiration of the Ruach, and even through writing when Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh gave Moshe the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). Prophets corrected the Kings of Isra’el hoping they would repent. Prophets spoke the Word into culture of Isa’el which made them outcasts. Prophets were not accepted in their home towns (Luke 4:24).

Prophets like Moshe, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Micah, Isaiah and Daniel had the ‘Spirit of prophecy’ meaning that each of them had a testimony of Yeshua; they knew him in a personal way. For those who believe that men and women of the old testament didn’t know Yeshua and have no hope of salvation; this is just not true. According to the words of the messenger, ‘the Spirit of prophecy’ in each of these men proves they knew Yeshua not as the Word in the flesh, but as the prophetic Word.

Anyone who has a testimony of Yeshua in their lives also has the ‘Spirit of prophecy.’ Testifying about what Yeshua has done in a person’s life is prophetic. Sha’ul taught that the Spirit manifests gifts to followers of Yeshua; one of those gifts is the ‘Spirit of prophecy, ‘ and he also tells women in the Body of Messiah to wear a head covering when they ‘pray or prophesy’ (1 Corinthians 11:5, 1 Corinthians 12:10). Each person is to use their ‘prophetic gift’ according to their measure of faith (Romans 12:6).

When Jacob finds out that Joseph is alive, the Scripture says ‘the spirit of Jacob’ revived (Genesis 45:18-28). In the Targum Onkelos, the word ‘prophecy’ is added to the phrase suggesting that Jacob had a testimony of Yeshua, the ‘resurrection’ of his son. It is recorded that Phillip, who shared Yeshua with the Ethiopian eunuch, had four unmarried daughters who had the ‘Spirit of prophecy’ (Acts 21:9). This means they each had a testimony of Yeshua in their life.

On Shavuot, Kefa (Peter) quoted from the prophet Joel who prophesied that one day the Spirit of Adonai would be poured out on all men (Joel 3:1). At that time, everyone from young sons and daughters to old men would dream dreams and experience visions. This is the ‘Spirit of prophecy,’ the testimony of Yeshua.

The Warrior King and His Armies

“Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, “THE WORD OF GOD” (Revelation 19:11-13).

The rider on this white horse is the same rider from Revelation chapter 6 that went out to conquest the nations (Zechariah 14:3). When the Conqueror left, he wore one crown; when he returns, he has many crowns. The rider on the white horse is the Lion of Y’hudah, the Warrior King returning wearing the royal crowns from conquering the nations’ kings. His eyes burn like fiery flames; he wears a robe soaked in blood. The blood is not Yeshua’s blood; it is the blood of the enemies of Adonai.

The prophet Isaiah describes the day of vengeance and the year of redemption:

“Who is this, coming from Edom, from Botzrah with clothing stained crimson, so magnificently dressed, so stately in his great strength? “It is I, who speak victoriously, I, well able to save.Why is your apparel red, your clothes like someone treading a winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the peoples [nations], not one was with me. So I trod them in my anger, trampled them in my fury; so their lifeblood spurted out on my clothing, and I have stained all my garments; for the day of vengeance that was in my heart and my year of redemption have come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I was appalled that no one upheld me. Therefore my own arm brought me salvation, and my own fury upheld me. In my anger I trod down the peoples, made them drunk with my fury, then poured out their lifeblood on the earth” (Isaiah 63:1-6).

The armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. And out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations — “He will rule them with a staff of iron.” It is he who treads the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of Adonai, God of heaven’s armies. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:14-16).

“Listen! A tumult on the mountains — it sounds like a vast multitude! Listen! The uproar of the kingdoms of the nations gathering together! Adonai-Tzva’ot is mustering an army for war” (Isaiah 13:4).

At the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the Bride of Yeshua was given fine linen to wear. The armies of Messiah arrive riding white horses and dressed in fine linen –– the Bride has become the Woman of Valor following her Warrior King.

Yeshua’s name is the ‘Word of Adonai‘ –– a powerful sword that will strike down nations. The Word will judge those who have rejected the Torah of Adonai. The Word will judge the nations for their lawlessness, immorality, and unrighteousness; the rejection of the ‘appointed times,’ the consumption of ‘unclean foods,’ and anti-semitism against the chosen people of Adonai.

Yeshua will rule the nations with a staff of iron because they will still refuse to submit to his authority. The Hebrew word for ‘staff’ is shebet and means ‘scepter.’ A scepter is held by a ruling King showing his authority and sovereignty (Genesis 49:10).

Yeshua’s scepter will be made of iron. The Hebrew word for ‘iron’ is barzel, a common element from ancient times. Job knew that iron was taken out of the earth (Job 28:2). The prophet Isaiah describes how a blacksmith works with iron (Jeremiah 44:12, 54:16). Sha’ul says that hypocritical liars have had their consciences seared as if with a ‘red-hot branding iron’ (1 Timothy 4:2). Iron was used for many objects including weapons and armor. Iron symbolizes fortitude and strength. Yeshua is going to judge the nations of the earth with fortitude and strength until he destroys all of his adversaries.

Hebrew Word Pictures

ב Bet – A House means ‘house or ‘family.’

ר Resh – A Head means ‘highest authority.’

ז Zayin – A Weapon means ‘divide’ or ‘cut.’

ל Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for barzel: house of highest authority divided urging forward.

Yeshua will “tread the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of Adonai.” A winepress in Biblical times consisted of two containers placed at different elevations. The grapes were put in the higher one where they were stomped on. The resulting juice flowed into the lower container. According to the prophet Isaiah, the containers were cut out of rock (Isaiah 5:2). As the furious rage of Adonai comes upon the earth, nations will be put in the higher part of the press and they will be tred upon by Yeshua until their blood flows down to where it is collected in the bottom container.

On Yeshua’s robe and his thigh a name is written, not tattooed. As High Priest and King of El Elyon, he will continue to uphold the Torah (Numbers 15:37-38). He will have tzizit on the four corners of his garment. The tzizit are tied with knots with two different numerical meanings: ‘Adonai is Echad’ or the Tettragrammaton, yod-hey-vav-hey. As King Messiah returns victorious on his white horse, the tzizit will rest on his thigh revealing his name as ‘One’ with yod-hey-vav-hey.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Fringe, tassel – tzizit – ציצת

צ Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘draw near.’

י Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’

צ Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘draw near.’

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for tzizit: draw near the finished work, draw near the covenant.

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice to all the birds that fly about in mid-heaven, “Come, gather together for the great feast God is giving, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of generals, the flesh of important men, the flesh of horses and their riders and the flesh of all kinds of people, free and slave, small and great!” (Revelation 19:17-18).

Standing in the sun, a messenger cries out to the birds flying in mid-heaven. Mid-heaven refers to the highest point from where the sun ascends in the east and descends in the west. Since this prophecy centers around Jerusalem, it would be ‘high noon’ when the birds gather for the feast of flesh.

The messenger’s words fulfill the prophecy given to the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:19-20). It is the final battle when all the dead become food and drink for the birds and wild animals. They will gorge themselves on the flesh remains of kings, princes, generals, important men, horses and their riders, free men and slaves, and young and old, and drink their blood until they are drunk (Ezekiel 39: 11, 17).

The place for all of the graves will be in the Travelers’ Valley. This area, east of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River, was once occupied by Moab, but became the land inheritance for the Tribe of Gad before crossing into the Promised Land (Numbers 32:16-19). Gad, means ‘good fortune,’ but has also come to mean ‘troops’ or ‘horde.’ Ezekiel prophesies that Gog and his rebellion will include every nation on earth, not just a few in the Middle East surrounding Isra’el and will be defeated by ‘troops.’

“I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to do battle with the rider of the horse and his army. But the beast was taken captive, and with it the false prophet who, in its presence, had done the miracles which he had used to deceive those who had received the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped his image. The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword that goes out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh” (Revelation 19:19-21).

Yochanan sees the beast and the anti-messiah gather the kings of the earth and their armies to make war with King Yeshua and his immortal armies. The beast will be taken captive along with the false propeht and thrown into the ‘lake of fire tha burns with sulfur.’ Those who took the ‘mark of the beast’ and worshiped his image will join them in the ‘lake of fire.’ The rest of the nations will be killed by the Warrior ‘Word of Adonai’ who rides the white horse.

Birds will gorge themselves on the flesh of the dead. In Hebrew, the word for ‘birds’ is ba’ali hakanaf or ‘winged ones.’ The birds that consume human flesh will be ‘unclean’ birds of prey created to clean up dead carcasses: eagles, vultures, ospreys, kites, buzzards, ravens, owls, seagulls, hawks, pelicans, storks, herons, hoopoes, and bats (Leviticus 11).

Chapter 20 – The First Resurrection

© 2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

I Cannot Come to the Banquet

The Wedding Banquet
The Wedding Banquet

“He replied, “Once a man gave a banquet and invited many people. When the time came for the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come! Everything is ready!’  But they responded with a chorus of excuses. The first said to him, ‘I’ve just bought a field, and I have to go out and see it. Please accept my apologies.’  Another said, ‘I’ve just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to test them out. Please accept my apologies.’  Still another said, ‘I have just gotten married, so I can’t come.’  The servant came and reported these things to his master” (Luke 14:15-20).

Below are the words from a song from when I was in youth choir.  I don’t know why the words stuck in my head – perhaps it’s because we used to mix them up and say, “I have married a cow and bought me a wife,” but the idea remained the same.  There was a banquet being held and the invited people made excuses for not attending.

“I cannot come.  I cannot come to the banquet don’t bother me now.  I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow.  I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum.  Pray hold me excused, I cannot come.”  

At the time I sang this song, I was attending a Lutheran church and had no clue as to what the song was about.  All I knew was some sort of banquet invitation had been given and poor RSVP excuses were made.

After I became born again into God’s Kingdom, I found the account of this great banquet in Luke 14.  I didn’t even know the song came from the Scriptures until I read Luke!  I understood it from the only perspective I had at the time. The ‘banquet’ referred to accepting the invitation to enter the Kingdom through faith in Jesus.   I had done that; I was born again so I was ‘at the banquet.’  It was not until ten years later when the Spirit of God opened my eyes to the Feasts of the LORD that I grasped the enormity of  the invitation and the gravity of making excuses.

The fall ‘appointed times’ arrive each year:  Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles.  The institutional church does not acknowledge these dates and times and remains ignorant 2000 years after Yeshua’s Parable of the Great Banquet.  Others who may be familiar with the ‘appointed times’ remain complacent and do not embrace the celebrations that Adonai Himself provided for His people to see, know, and understand His Son more intimately and prophetically.

“The angel said to me, “Write: ‘How blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 19:9).

Like the individuals in the parable, they make excuses as to why “I cannot come.”  They are still getting married, buying and selling homes, can’t stay out that late because of small children, have wood to chop, bread to bake or are preparing for the next day’s activities.   The worst excuse I have ever heard is that these are Jewish feasts and the invitation is completely rejected by Christians due to centuries of anti-semitism.

“Then the owner of the house, in a rage, told his servant, ‘Quick, go out into the streets and alleys of the city; and bring in the poor, the disfigured, the blind and the crippled!‘ The servant said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’  The master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the country roads and boundary walls, and insistently persuade people to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet!’” (Luke 14:15-24).

The parable states that those who made excuses for not attending the banquet enraged the host.   Read that again, the host was enraged by the responses of the people!  In his rage he deemed that “not one person who was invited and made an excuse will even get a taste of his feast.”  This statement reveals the magnitude of the host’s fury. These same words are found in  Hebrews 4:3 regarding Israel and their disobedience to the Sabbath, “And in my anger, I swore they would not enter my rest.”  It is dangerous to refuse an invitation from Adonai Himself.

Matthew 22 relates the same Parable, but adds more details.  First, the banquet is a wedding feastfor the a king’s son. When used in context to the Feasts of the LORD, it is the wedding feast of the Lamb, Yeshua.

“Yeshua again used parables in speaking to them: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son,  but when he sent his servants to summon the invited guests to the wedding, they refused to come. So he sent some more servants, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, I’ve prepared my banquet, I’ve slaughtered my bulls and my fattened cattle, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding!’ But they weren’t interested and went off, one to his farm, another to his business; and the rest grabbed his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was furious and sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city.

Those invited to the wedding feast refused to come –– refused to come! They weren’t interested –– weren’t interested! Others, offended by the suggestion of going to a Jewish King’s wedding feast mistreated and killed the emissaries of the King.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘Well, the wedding feast is ready; but the ones who were invited didn’t deserve it.  So go out to the street-corners and invite to the banquet as many as you find.’  The servants went out into the streets, gathered all the people they could find, the bad along with the good; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.” 

The King told his servants that the ones who were invited didn’t deserve to come. They were not worthy; they did not merit the right to come to the wedding feast.

So the king’s servants went to the streets and invited those who were poor, blind, and crippled.  When the king’s house was still not completely full, the servants “intently persuaded” others to come to the banquet. Persuasion. Intense persuasion.

Sometimes people can be persuaded to attend, but only to appease the servant; sometimes they just don’t care. Ultimately, it was not the original invited guests that filled the king’s house and sat at the table of the his son. It was not those who ‘refused to come’ and ‘weren’t interested’ who tasted the goodness of the feast, but only those who had willing hearts and marked the ‘appointed time’ on their calendar.

“One of the people at the table with Yeshua said to him, “How blessed are those who eat bread in the Kingdom of God!” (Matthew 22:15).

“The angel said to me, “Write: ‘How blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 19:9)

“Now when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who wasn’t dressed for a wedding; so he asked him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark!’ In that place people will wail and grind their teeth, for many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:11-14).

Another guest is described at the wedding feast ––– the one who came without wedding clothes. In ancient cultures, proper wedding clothes were provided by the host to everyone attending the feast so there was no distinction between rich and poor. Yet, this guest was rebellious to the requirements of the host for attending the wedding banquet. This guest’s arrogance made him speechless when confronted by the king about his wrong garment. He believed he could come to the wedding banquet however he pleased because he believed the king to be more gracious than righteous.

How many who believe they are in the Kingdom will miss the greatest event of all time because they refuse the invitation to come to the ‘rehearsal feast?’ How many will miss the greatest blessing in eternity because they make excuses for God’s ‘appointed times’ now? How many more who believe they follow God will be weeping and gnashing their teeth in the outer darkness when they realize God doesn’t honor man’s ways?

“For many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Passover: A Betrothal Ceremony

“And He said to them, ‘I have earnestly and intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; For I say to you, I shall eat it no more until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15, Amplified Bible).

Yeshua earnestly, intensely, and eagerly desired to celebrate his final Passover with his disciples. He knew his time was short, and he wanted to reveal God’s plan of reconciliation at its ‘appointed time.’ As the Lamb of God, he offered salvation to his brothers and sisters who were enslaved by sin and the consequences of their rebelliousness. As the Son of God, he would transform the Passover’s traditional elements into a betrothal ceremony with a groom, a bride, a cup of wine, the bride’s father, the bride price, and the wedding guests. With this Passover seder, Yeshua would renew the covenant of marriage that would restore Israel to her Husband.

The Groom

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by Yahweh, smitten by him, and afflicted”  (Isaiah 53:2-5).

The groom is Yeshua himself. The Bible describes him as having no beauty or majesty. He was despised and rejected by men. He had no desirable outward appearance and was so unattractive that men hid their faces from him. Yet, like any man, Yeshua desired a Bride.

The Bride

In a traditional Jewish betrothal ceremony, the hopeful groom would offer the potential bride a cup of wine as his proposal for marriage. He would drink from the cup first and then offer it to her. If she accepted the proposal, the woman would drink from the cup of wine. By sharing the cup with the man, she agreed to be ‘set apart’ as his bride. She would remain faithful to him until the day of the wedding when their marriage would be consummated. A week-long wedding feast would follow with friends and family.

“After taking the cup [of Sanctification], he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you.  For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes’” (Luke 22:14-16).

In the traditional Passover seder, the first cup of wine consumed is called the ‘Cup of Sanctification.’ After blessing the wine, Yeshua offered this cup to his disciples. As each one drank from the cup, they acknowledged their acceptance of Yeshua’s marriage proposal. It represented an individual commitment that each disciple making to become Yeshua’s sanctified, holy, and set apart Bride.

Once the ‘Cup of Sanctification’ had been shared, the bridegroom would not drink the fruit of the vine until the day of the wedding feast. The bride, however, was to remember her betrothed and their marriage covenant every time she drank from the cup.

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

The Bride’s Father

“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I [Yeshua] came from God and now am here.   Why is my language not clear to you?  Because you are unable to hear what I say.   You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning.” (John 8:44-6).

After the bride accepts the groom’s proposal, the bride’s father set the bride price. Generally it was something of great value because the father was losing a daughter. Before we are redeemed, ‘our father’ is the devil and death is his end game. He would rather have us destroyed than have us redeemed. He would rather us die in our sins than be restored to our heavenly Father. ‘Our father,’ the Adversary, required the highest price that could be paid to take us from him. He required that our Betrothed die for us. He required that he be beaten, bruised, and killed. He required that he shed his blood.

The Bride Price Paid

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup (of Redemption), saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19).

Yeshua poured a second cup of wine. In the traditional Passover seder, this cup is called the ‘Cup of Redemption.’ Along with some unleavened bread, Yeshua held up the cup and made a powerful declaration. For us, his Bride, he would willingly pay the required bride price.

“… He humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 3:10).

Another cup of wine called ‘The Cup of Plagues’ is poured to remember the judgments on Egypt –– the final one being the death of the firstborn. God allowed the firstborn of Israel to live, but they had to redeem or ‘buy back’ their firstborn through the sacrifice of a lamb. Now, the Lamb of God was going to ‘buy back’ God’s firstborn son, Israel (Exodus 4:22). Yeshua did not pour this cup with his disciples, instead he wrestled with the coming judgment as he prayed to his Father on the Mount of Olives and sweat great drops of blood.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:42-44).

A fourth cup of wine called ‘The Cup of Completion’ was poured, but not consumed during the Passover seder in Yeshua’s time. Instead, it was consumed at the close of the following day to complete the Passover. Yeshua drank this cup of wine while he was hanging on the cross. After being given soured wine on hyssop, the ‘Cup of Completion,’ he said, “It is finished.” He gave up his spirit and died. The bride price had been paid in full. Yeshua’s ‘appointed time’ of Passover was completed.

“Knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Yeshua said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Yeshua’s lips. When he had received the drink, Yeshua said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 18:28-30).

The Groom’s Preparation

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2,3).

After completing the marriage betrothal contract and paying the bride price, the bridegroom would leave for a time to prepare a home for his bride. In Middle Eastern culture, the groom adds a room onto his father’s house. This additional room could take anywhere from two days to two years to build. Before Yeshua dies, resurrects, and ascends to his Father, he tells his newly betrothed Bride that he is going away to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house. He promises to return so that they could be where he would be (John 14:2-3).

The Bride’s Preparation

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness or sanctification out of reverence for the Lord” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

The bride, now bought with a bride price, would spend her time preparing for her wedding day (1 Corinthians 6:20). It would arrive at an unknown day and hour so she always had to be ready. Waiting as a wise betrothed virgin, she would light an oil lamp in her window just in case her bridegroom arrived during the night. She had known of other brides being swept away near midnight, and she wanted to be ready when she heard the cry: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” (Matthew 25:6,10)

In Greek, ‘sanctification’ is hagiasmos and means ‘to be set apart for a holy purpose.’ Sanctification is the process by which a person is incorporated more fully into spiritual reality of Yeshua, being made more like him, and doing the will of his Father. Being ‘set apart’ for a holy purpose is more than just drinking a small glass of wine and eating a dissolving wafer every other week. Sanctification is a way of life consistent with those who are separated out of the world as the Bride of Messiah.

Sanctification comes through Yeshua: ”For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (John 17:19). Sanctification comes through studying the Scriptures: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17) . Sanctification comes through the power of the Holy Spirit: “Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit” (1 Peter 1:2).

Sanctification must be pursued by the Bride earnestly and unswervingly, making every effort to be holy; for without holiness, no one will see Yeshua (Hebrews 12:14). The Bride of Messiah will “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” when her Bridegroom returns (2 Peter 3:1-4).

The sanctified, holy character of the Bride cannot be transferred from one person to another. This is the meaning of Yeshua’s Parable of the Ten Virgins. Those betrothed Virgins who had oil in their lamps could not share it, give it away. Sanctifying ‘oil’ is purchased at the cost of “keeping oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). She will have kept herself spotless, pure, and holy. She will have prepared herself for her wedding day. The Virgin betrothed to Messiah will be ready with her glowing lamp filled with oil when her Bridegroom arrives at an unknown hour (Matthew 25).

The Father of the Groom

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

The father of the groom determined the time that his son would return for his bride. The groom could only return for his bride when the additional room to the house was complete. This was so that the groom wouldn’t rush, but properly prepare a home for the arrival of his bride.

Neither the groom nor the bride knew the exact day or hour of the wedding, but it would arrive with the fanfare of the groom’s best friends and shouts of joy from wedding party. The excited bridegroom would enter the bride’s home and ‘snatch her away.’ Together they would return to the groom’s house and enter the wedding chamber where they would consummate their marriage. When they reappeared, the wedding feast would begin.

On an unknown day and hour, at the ‘appointed time’ of his Father, Yeshua will return for his Bride. He will arrive with a great shout and a trumpet blast, and his Bride will rise to meet him in the air. They will go to the bridal chamber where they will consummate their marriage and then celebrate the greatest of all wedding feasts.

The Wedding Guests

“Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God” (Revelation 19:9).

Only a select few people consisting of bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and immediate family attend a wedding rehearsal dinner with the bride and groom. The friends and relatives of the bride and groom make up the enormous guest list.

Yeshua speaks about his own wedding feast when he says it will occur in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 8:10-12, Luke 13:28-30). The Kingdom of Heaven is not some remote corner of the sky hidden above the clouds. The Kingdom of Heaven, according to Yeshua, will be here on earth and known as the Messianic Era. Yeshua will return here to the earth for his Bride, have the ultimate wedding feast here, and then take his Bride to the Temple, his Father’s house here; and within its many rooms, they will live as Husband and Bride, High Priest and royal priesthood, here.

Yeshua describes the guests that will attend the wedding feast of the Lamb in different parables. He says that many will come from the east and west and take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10).

In the heavenly throne room, a multitude of people wear white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb. They hold palm branches and cry out “Hosanna” just as the crowd who accompanied Yeshua into Jerusalem. This is an enormous group of people coming from every generation who have accepted Yeshua’s bride price. They come from every nation, tribe, and language. Overjoyed at being redeemed, they sing at the throne of Yeshua. These men, women, and children are the guests invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Yeshua also says that not everyone invited to the wedding feast will attend. Some make excuses like having just bought property or a cow that needs milking (Luke 14:15-24). Others will excuse themselves because a ‘Jewish‘ feast isn’t for them. Some guests who thought they were important will find out they are not, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first” (Matthew 20:6). Other guests will be “thrown out of the kingdom into outer darkness” for not following protocol and putting on the proper wedding clothes (Matthew 22:11).

The Wedding of the Lamb

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him for the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)” (Revelation 19:8).

The wedding of the Lamb will take place in the coming Messianic Kingdom. The wedding hall will be filled with guests too numerous to count from every nation, tribe and tongue. The Bride’s sanctified, faithful way of life will be rewarded with a gown of fine linen, bright and clean, that she will wear in front of all the wedding guests. The Bridegroom will again drink the fruit of the vine with his Bride.

Until her glorious wedding day, the wise betrothed Virgin will preparing herself by doing acts of righteousness. She will keep herself pure, holy, and unspotted from the world through personal sanctification. She will keep her lamp lit and full of oil waiting for the return of her Bridegroom at the ‘appointed time’ –– Feast of Trumpets. Every year as she celebrates Passover and drinks the two cups of wine –– Sanctification and Redemption –– she has an annual reminder of her Beloved’s words: “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24).

©2000 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.